What is Sandbagging in Pickleball?

Sandbagging in pickleball is when you portray yourself worse than you actually are to achieve a better result. You may be just learning how to play pickleball, but sandbagging is often completed in tournament play because the stakes are higher, and you can receive a monetary outcome or medal if you win.

I had a friend recently who go destroyed in a tournament as a 3.5 in Asia, but back in Europe, he won a 3.5 tournament more easily.He said that 3.5 mixed doubles was not the standard that he expected and that Asia had much higher standards, which could be due to sandbagging.

Sometimes, I may feel like I am sandbagging when I play with my Vatic Pro Prism flash, but let me address deliberate sandbagging and the definition.

Deliberate Sandbagging?

Sandbagging at pickleball could be deliberate or not deliberate, especially as the sport is new and there’s potentially not a standardized system for scoring individuals. For example, I asked another friend who played in a tournament recently, and he did not know how to rate himself, so he decided on 3.5 rating.

Hopefully with the expansion and standardization of Pickleball rankings and rating system including the Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating (DUPR), many more people will less deliberately sandbag.

Please consider reading this article I just wrote, titled: “How does DUPR rating work.”

Webster’s Definition of Sandbagging

Finally, I will leave you with Merriam Webster’s definition of sandbagging:

In pickleball, it does seem that there would need to be intent of sandbagging in order to match this definition.

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